In the coming months I will be working on my thesis project, which is based on the land adjacent to Stephenson Quarter, the development I summarised in a previous post. I am going to use this blog as a space to show my progress through the design process. My aim is to follow on from the previous two design projects (Design Studio and Housing Alternatives) which have taught me a lot about the design process. As someone with a background in planning, the urban design process is something I particularly enjoy. I will be working with my tutor Mark Massey, from IDP Architects in Newcastle upon Tyne.
I am guilty of not using the blog properly this semester. It is such a good outlet that is rather informal when compared to the usual strict essay writing found at university. It gives us, as students, an opportunity to show our personalities a bit, our opinions and our tastes. Not everyone has to agree with everything we say, but I think that blogging allows much greater collaboration and discussion between ourselves as students and to anyone else reading. The typical essay meanwhile, is not open to discussion between students etc. as it is a high level piece of work, void of real personal opinion and so on. Blogging opens up discussions, allows people to challenge the way you see a particular thing and vice versa. Writing this blog therefore, has been a pleasant change and is definitely something I would recommend other universities do more often.
Furthermore, I feel that the rich diversity of people on our course is great for the blog. We are a group made up of several nationalities, each of us with our own interpretation of urban design, formed from our every day experiences of life in general. I myself grew up in a rural town (literally in the middle of nowhere) and travelling to the city was always an exciting experience. However, how does my interpretation of the city differ from someone who grew up in New York, Beijing or London, for example?
I have enjoyed the collaborative side of the blog and have read my colleagues posts only to find projects, developments and ideas that I’d never seen before. This, I suppose, is the main purpose of this blog – to give students the platform to post and share ideas with each other and to learn from one another. The nature of the blog encourages discussion and sharing of ideas and concepts.